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ממשל בוש, הקהילה היהודית בארה"ב – תפקידים אפשריים

Mr. Peter Joseph:

My name is Peter Joseph, and I am here serving as the chair of the Israeli policy for those of you who are not familiar with the IPF. it is an American Jewish organization whose sole mission is to promote an active American engagement, diplomatic process supporting a two State solution, and so you can see that I will come a long, long way to put myself out of a job.

If I may, I'd like to take this opportunity to say what a privilege it has been for me to be a fly on the wall and to listen to the discussions of this conference. It is a rare opportunity for a non-professional member of the American Jewish community like myself, to gain some of the insights that we have all shared over the last days. And I would like to thank principals of the Geneva initiative for inviting me.

In fact, when I think about the challenge of an agreement within a year, I am tempted to invite all of you to come to a similar conference in the United States to take on the issue of focusing and building a consensus within the American Jewish community, which I think you will find many parallels to some of the very complex issues we were discussing here.

We are no way naive when it comes to the complexity and the multilayers of the kinds of issues that you have all been dealing with for many, many years and we salute your effort, and we look to support you in any way we can, both with our activity within the American Jewish community and our potential impact on the American government.

I will take my prerogative as the moderator to be more of a respondent, and I would like to move right to our speakers if I may, you're organizers have been very kind to me by asking me to introduce a panel which really needs no introduction to this audience. I seem to be making a career of introducing Ambassador Dan Kurtzer, he has been a very, available speaker to many, many organizations in the United States, and I've had this occasion numerous times, I have not gotten it right yet, because I am not able to come up with anything that everybody doesn't already know, so I will just pass by very quickly by saying, Dan is currently serving as a professor within an endowed chair, the Abraham chair, at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, you all know him as a very long serving member of the American diplomat corp., must recently with his ambassadorial appointments, Egypt and to Israel. So I may I'll turn the floor right over to Dan.

 

Amb. Dan Kurtzer:

Boker Tov, good morning. When we concluded yesterday afternoons sessions, there was manifest interest in the role of the United States, an issue that most speakers yesterday had alluded to, but seemed very absent from the agenda, so it is apt that the organizers of the conference start the second day with a panel that focuses on the role both of the American government in trying to reach an agreement within a year, as well as of the American Jewish community. And what I would like to do is what I'd like to do is take on a little bit of historical journey, because about a little over a year ago, the United States institute of Peace asked me to direct a study on the role of the United States in Arab-Israeli negotiations, in order to try to provide some lessons learned to the next administration.

The assumption that we worked on over the course of the past year, 18 months, was that the Bush administration having squandered, their fail to exploit, many opportunities to advance the peace process, would do nothing until the end of its term and, therefore, whatever advice we could impart, would be of importance for the next administration. And so together with Scott and Stensky from the U.S. Institute as well as a study group of the three of the finest academic practitioners in the United States, William Quant of the University of Virginia, Shibli Telhami of the University of Maryland and Steven Spiegel of UCLA. We interviewed about a hundred current and former U.S. and Middle East policy makers and focused particularly on the American role. And the argument we made in our discussions was clearly, it is the responsibility of the parties themselves of Arabs and Israelis to make peace, to do the hard diplomacy, make the hard choices, but we were looking at the American roles, so what you will see today is a focus that looks a little bit out of kilter, because it assumes a greater prominence for the U.S. role than in fact will be required when negotiations actually start. Given the importance of that third party role, it also will teach us some lessons from the past that are applicable for the present.

When we found ourselves surprised in the middle of our efforts that in fact the administration was interested in trying to see whether or not progress was possible before the end of its term. So what we thought were going to be lessons for the next administration, in fact are lessons even for this administration.

Our own study started with a major question which was why if things look so good, 15- 16 years ago, in fact to a point where people assumed that a comprehensive peace settlement was just around the corner ? Why do things look so bad today? After all at the beginning of the 1990s, the end of the Cold War, the absence of Soviet-American competition, in fact the United States and Soviet Union, or the United States and Russia worked together to bring about the Madrid Peace Conference, a phenomenal change in the regional situation with the United States having martialled a regional and international coalition to reverse Iraq's aggression against Kuwait, having therefore broken the back of previous Arab consensus decision making, changes on the ground in this region, the Palestinian Intifada that started in 1987 that in some respects shifted the balance of decision-making within the Palestinian community from Tunis to the territories and a major shift on the ground in Israel; Yitzchak Shamir having taken Israel into the Madrid Peace Conference defeated by Yitzchak Rabin, who immediately indicated his interest in a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and Syria.

So the Clinton administration in 1993, inherited an ideal situation for facilitating the peace making efforts. And yet in 2008 as we look forward to what we hope will be a year of intensive peace process activity, we look back at 15 years of peace process failures, of significant violence between the parties and an increase in distrust, rather than trust building. And so therefore to negotiate an agreement in the course of the next year, a lot of us, United States including, has homework to do.

Unabashedly I have put up an advertisement for a book which will be out in a few weeks, its called: "Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace", and in fact will act as a little bit of a guidepost for American mediators, we have already given a copy to Secretary of State, Rice, and I had a long conversation with her about it, and she has been very interested in some of the lessons we have been able to learn from the experiences of the past 15 years.

 

What we did in trying to analyze U.S. behavior in the peace process, was to look at some of the systemic and negotiating features which accounted for the failure of U.S. diplomacy to facilitate an Arab-Israeli agreement during this period. One of the key issues in this process has always been a number of asymmetries between the parties. One of the most profound is the fact that a State – Israel, which is occupying the territory over which negotiations are taking place, is negotiating with representatives of the people in that territory who not only have to negotiate themselves out of occupation, but at the same time to build up institutions of independent statehood.

It is unprecedented in international affairs for this situation to develop, and it creates an asymmetry in political relations between the two sides, which would be enhanced by a third party's finding a way to balance off the power relationships between the two sides. There is also an asymmetry in some of the major demands of the two parties, Israel focused almost entirely on the security implications of diplomatic activities, Palestinians of course focused on the issues of justice, and the achievement of independence, and that also could be facilitated by the actions of a third party to deal with the asymmetries inherent in that situation. And yet consistently over the past 15 years, particularly during the Clinton administration, the United States did not fully appreciate the need to deal with those asymmetries and to try to address some of the imbalances.

The second issue perhaps even more important than dealing with asymmetries, was the absence of monitoring and accountability within this process. All agreements previously between Israel and Arabs had built-in mechanisms to deal with violations of commitments, and violations of accords. You recall in the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, there is a requirement for negotiations conciliation or arbitration, to deal with issues between the parties, and the two sides set up a number of mechanisms which the United States and the international community participated to deal with monitoring, such as the multi-national force of observers in Sinai, and the provision by the United States of certain intelligence information to help the parties assess the performance of each other. In the Oslo accords there was no such inherent mechanisms built-in, nor did the United States ever offer to set up a monitoring system in order to help the parties judge the performance of their adversaries. And so you had a build-up of bad behaviors on the part of Israelis and Palestinians, consistent settlement activity on the part of Israel, settlement proctor in 1990's in numbers of settlements, was exponential. You had terrorism and violence perpetrated by Palestinians which enlisted no response or very little response, except at one moment in 1996, on the Palestinian authority. And these behaviors had no third party monitoring, which would then hold the parties countable and exact some consequence for their behavior.

The third issue was the absence of people to people activities, and this is very interesting phenomenon, because in fact in the Madrid process built-in to that process was a multilateral negotiating track that was supposed to take place in parallel with bilateral negotiations, and in fact there are many people in this room who participated in sessions relating to war, the environment, economic development, arms control, regional security and refugees, and yet within about two years of the onset of the Clinton administration, the administration allowed a multilateral negotiations to end, in its place it saw to build an economic partnership called "the Casablanca Process", and four economic summits were in fact held, but even those came to an end. So you had negotiations throughout the 1990s, between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government, but instead of having a growth of people to people activities, you had the demise of governmental support for people to people activities.

One effort was made during the Wye Agreement, the United States committed $10 million for such activities, this was a one-time affair and was not sustained over time. The fourth issue was the fact that the United States continued to promote incrementalism, the idea of internal agreements even when those agreements continuously failed.

Now those of us who have been involved in this process for decades know that the philosophical underpinning of the idea of imcrementalism, rested on the notion that if the parties could reach agreement and implement internal agreements, it would build trust and allow them later on to deal with more fundamental and more problematic issues that it was felt could not be addressed up front.

But in fact the parties failed to reach such agreements, or when they did reach agreements, failed to implement them, so rather than building trust between the parties the incremental process in fact increased distrust. And yet, right into the 1990s and in fact even in this century, the United States continued to support and to foster the notion that one should not address final status issues, but continue to focus on these interim agreements.

And finally as we will discuss in a few minutes, there were fundamental weaknesses in U.S. negotiating behavior. The way the United States used its diplomatic tool box, the way the United States organized itself for diplomacy, and the way the United States carried out its diplomatic activities.

We did an assessment of the three administrations, it is a bit presumptuous we know to do a report record on presidents and their policies, but we felt it was important to look back and assess both the strengths and the weaknesses of each administration before drawing some lessons for the present and the future. In assessing the administration of George H.W. Bush, Bush 41 as we called him, he certainly got high marks for both performance and for outcome, there was strong presidential leadership, and strong presidential determination to see the peace process advance. In fact from the earliest days of the administration the president articulated his process, as a major priority for his administration and used the occasion of his first major speech after the Gulf War to tell the United States Congress that the peace process would be the highest foreign policy priority for him, coming out of that war.

President and Secretary of State James Baker articulated a clear strategy and Baker as we know was a strong Secretary of State, who ran his own team with a strong hand, that team was disciplined, diverse and experienced, it had people who were experts and had experience dealing with Israel and Israeli politics, and it had people with experience dealing with Arab politics. Baker also relied a great deal on the input from ambassadors in the field, especially in those places where U.S. relations had been complicated, for example, in Syria. President and the Secretary of State were involved in concerted diplomacy, Baker made 8 trips to the Middle East between March and October of 1991, in order to set up the agenda for the Madrid Peace Conference. He did engage in consultations very deep and very wide spread with parties in the region, but the United States policy was made in Washington, and that was indicated at every turn, especially at that moment when the parties demanded letters of assurances, and Baker said that the United States would provide such letters but those letters would not become a vehicle for changing American policy, they would be a way of assuring people of what our policy would be, but our policy was going to remain formulated and executed by ourselves.

The one flaw that we found and people told us about when we interviewed them, was that there was a little concentration paid on building a domestic base within the United States. The alienation for example of the Jewish community during the controversy over the loan guarantee issue became a very much of an albatross around the net of the Bush administration.

Assessing the Clinton administration we found very strong presidential leadership, but very significant problems in the process of diplomacy carried out by American diplomats throughout the 1990s. President Clinton from the onset of his administration demonstrated leadership but in fact did not engage himself in any meaningful way in the peace process until mid-way through his second term, and whereas he allowed the Secretary of State to develop a certain mechanism under the guidance of a special Middle East coordinator, Dennis Ross, in fact the president was not directly engaged in the process for almost six years, during which time as I indicated earlier, bad behavior accumulated on the part of the parties.

But the president did become engaged in the peace process starting a little before and then of course during and after the Wye negotiations, he became too accessible, and we heard from many interlocutors that he in fact became the desk officer for Middle East peace, rather than remaining as the president to deal with large policy decisions, and the oversight of broad strategy. The policy of the United States in this period largely was unfocused and too often ad hoc. We were surprised by the Oslo Agreement, and because it was not ours, we took a hands off approach in most critical instances in which the United States role was most needed. And we had a strategy that very often changed as a result of the last phone call rather than maintaining its determination and to see whether or not it could succeed.

Two examples of this were at Geneva in 2000 and at Camp David of 2000, where the United States entered critical summit meetings, unprepared and very often carrying Israeli talking points and Israeli ideas, rather than ideas formulated in Washington.

Camp David was noteworthy for lack of U.S. preparation. We in fact had to call expertise to Camp David in the middle of the meetings because we did not have the prepared papers done in advance, we had an almost complete absence of expertise on Arab affairs, we failed to consult with our Arab partners, at that time I was serving as the United States' Ambassador to Egypt and could not be briefed, I was not getting return phone calls from Camp David and, therefore, was not able to brief President Mubarak for the first 7 days of the summit. I was then instructed to reach out to President Mubarak to help resolve the issue on Jerusalem, but you can imagine his response, having not heard from me for seven days, and then I would come to him asking for his help in resolving the problem.

We had no Arab diplomacy before or during the summit. Our policy process throughout this period was insolent, in other words the U.S. peace team did not reach into the United States bureaucracy to draw the expertise of experience that the United States government has in a number of issues, and even the Clinton parameters which in many respects have set the table for much of what we are doing today, came far too late to be meaningful, they came after the presidential elections in November, and as you recall President Clinton indicated that if those parameters had not been accepted by the parties, he was pulling them off the table, so rather than even leaving a legacy behind, the United States took those parameters off the table and they did not become U.S. policy.

Assessing Bush 43 was a bit easier than the other two administrations, because there has been so little peace process activity on the part of this administration. To be sure that the Bush administration inherited a much more challenging environment than was inherited by President Clinton, an active Intifada, a broken peace process and a weakened presidency, and yet throughout the first seven years of his administration, President Bush and the United States administration failed to look for or exploit opportunities that presented themselves and there were opportunities that presented themselves.

Early on the Mitchell Report which was commissioned right after the outset of the Intifida, the Mitchell Report was produced, was accepted by both sides and the United States failed to do anything about it. We had several envoys during this period, Anthony Zinny, Secretary of State Colin Powell travelled to the region, George Tennett, the then director of central intelligence, and yet each came with such a narrowly defined mission that there was no sustainability to U.S. diplomacy.

There were many disagreements between our own diplomats, between our own officials, Secretary Powell has been quite open in describing the fact that his missions in the Middle East were largely undercut by disagreements in Washington, among policy officials and our envoys were left unsupported in the work that they were doing in the field.

President Bush did give the major signature speech on the Middle East in 2002, after which the road map for peace was articulated, but almost nothing happened. In the summer of 2003 there was a short effort to try to implement the road map, but that was abandoned in the first sign of distress, and until recently this administration has been known for a certain amount of specific activity, but without sustained engagement.

What we tried to do then, and of course in the Middle East every set of lessons ends up being the number ten, I had a number of them here, I didn't want to be that presumptuous, but we did have 10 lessons that we thought we would be able to share with incoming U.S. policy makers but now we find ourselves able to share this also with the current administration.

The first is that, we do no favors to parties in the Middle East by working on the Arab-Israeli peace process, and the reason for that is that the Arab-Israeli peace process is a vital American national self-interest, and the president needs to determine that early on in his or her administration, in order to indicate to the parties that not only will we be helpful as they grapple with issues, but it is important for us, for ourselves, for this peace process to succeed. There have been several poniards or false choices that have been presented to administrations in the past, the idea that "the United States can't want peace, more than the parties themselves", well we can want peace, at least as much as the parties if it is in our own national self-interest. The other crenard, particularly this administration is given the idea that the road to Jerusalem, or the road to peace in Jerusalem runs through Baghdad, it neither runs through Baghdad, nor does the road to Baghdad run through Jerusalem. The issues of the Middle East are both related and discreet in their manifestation and it is important for the United States to work as hard on the Arab-Israeli peace process as it is to deal with other pressing problems in the region.

The second issue as I discussed earlier, is the U.S. policy must be made in Washington and must be seen as being made in Washington. Surely consultations help us to find our interests, and help us to find our policy choices, but if at the end of the day we cannot allow either the reality or perception to grow that our policy is being dictated elsewhere. We have one Israeli official tell our study group that he would receive phone calls from Washington years ago that would ask not what Israeli policy was or should be, but what American policy was or should be, which is a rather extraordinary kind of conversation. The third issue is the idea of exploiting openings. Openings very often will present themselves but as often as not, do not present themselves and have to be creative. An administration which is serious about furthering U.S. interests and the peace process must work hard to create and exploit those openings. The Mitchell Report in the year 2001, the Road Map, the accession to power of Abu Mazzen, the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 reiterated in 2007, all these were opportunities even during the more challenging period of the Bush administration which were not exploited and, therefore, not advanced.

Fourth issue as noted earlier, is the peace process having moved beyond a mentalism requires an end of conflict strategy and an end of conflict determination. And it is the United States and other outside parties that can't negotiate for the parties but can help the parties deal with the trade offs necessary to deal with the very challenging issues that are on their agenda.

The fifth issue, commitments, agreements must be respected and there must be a monitoring mechanism in place and willing to hold the parties accountable for the commitments they have made and the agreements into which they have entered. The United States in consultation with the parties must set standards of accountability, must report violations fairly and must exact some form of consequence for the failure of the parties to carry out their obligations.

Sixth issue has to do with the role of president, you recall using presidential assets wisely, but it really means is that the president must find the right mix between being the leader of his own policy, but also not abusing the office of the presidency in carrying out that policy. There were situations in the Clinton administration where the president was more willing than should have been the case, to take phone calls from leaders in the region and very often the substance of those phone calls failed to be passed down to the negotiating teams. The president cannot become the desk officer for Middle East peace, but it must know to the parties that the president is actively interested in the peace process.

Seventh issue is the construction and development of the U.S. negotiating team, diversity and experience, expertise on the part of U.S. officials in both Israeli and Arab affairs, experience on the ground, relying on our ambassadors, who are on the ground 24/7, and have in most cases some understanding of the local situation. Regional expertise is a critical component of what goes into U.S. policy making as it is in any country's policies.

The eighth issue is to build a bipartisan level of support within the United States and I know Alon and Roberta will also view with this, but it is critical to understand that our domestic constituencies in the United States are far more variegated and far more pluralistic than is often perceived in Washington. The American Jewish community does not speak with one voice, even on issues relating to Middle East peace, as does the American-Arab community. And, therefore, the administration needs to find out and listen carefully to the many voices within the communities in order to extract what it can to learn what it can and cannot do, in order to maintain that part of domestic support. Ninth on the question of an envoy, we heard over the past, particularly seven years of this administration, that all problems in U.S. policy would be resolved if we only had an envoy, and we in our study group decided to flip that issue, with good policy and good policy execution, the role and necessity of an envoy would sort itself out. It is quite likely that the president will need to appoint someone within his or her administration to take on the day-to-day task of running the Middle East peace process policy, that could be the Secretary of State, it could be a special envoy, but the envoy is not a substitute for good policy, and good policy formulation.

And finally, the United States must use what we call the diplomatic tool box judiciously and officially. The idea of summit meetings, is a good idea, but it cannot be a substitute for hard diplomacy. And unprepared summit meetings end up being worse for a process than not having a summit meeting at all.

Economic assistance has not been used wisely over the past 15-16 years, to act as both an inducement for the parties to make difficult choices and also as a reward for those parties who do make difficult choices. More often than not, economic assistance has been divorced almost floating by itself in the air without any relationship to what we've tried to do in the peace process.

These are ten lessons that we have derived from the experience of our discussions with policy makers, and I'm going to series of recommendations, many of which have remained even to the administration today. First as noted earlier is for the president to establish the peace process as a priority for his administration, and to indicate that this is not a favor we do for the parties, but something that is important for the United States. Second is the idea of doing homework, not after the process has begun, but before the process has started, monitoring for example should be in the field before the parties reach an agreement, so that base lines could be created and monitors become familiar with the situation on the ground.

Third is to learn and lock in the gains of early negotiations, this is to understand what was and was not accomplished to draw out those issues which can be reformulated and recycled and perhaps therefore work today, when they didn't work yesterday, and to discard those which didn't work earlier on.

The fourth is to invest in non-traditional diplomacy, and we don't call for a large investment, but the fact is that people to people activities, track 2, informal negotiations, the kind of conferences that so many of us in this room attend actually are useful to what governments do, because they often serve as a kind of laboratory an incubator for ideas and they certainly serve as a place where people who move in and out of the policy process will very often be present. And the administration needs to invest in this both financially, but also to send the administration figures when invited to attend these kinds of meetings.

Fifth is of course to use the full range of our diplomatic tools. As indicated earlier, we have not successfully done this for the last 15 years, and it means the judicious use of our diplomatic tool box.

And finally as to understand how valuable our relationship with Israel is, but also to note the parallel importance of maintaining and investing in our relations with the Arabs, and investing in one does not mean a diminution in the importance of the other. But both sides must see that we are not only loyal partners and allies, but that we are also loyal partners and allies to the other side.

So the last question raised through this study of history is, but will Bush do it. After Annapolis, after the visit to the region, what are the real possibilities that this administration will move forward, and here I will be a little bit less optimistic than perhaps some would want me to be. Number one: everyone here knows it, but you need to be reminded of it all the time, that the first five items on the agenda of Washington with respect to foreign policy generally in the Middle East in particular, are Iraq, Iraq, Iraq and Iraq. It consumes an enormous amount of U.S. time, attention, financial resources and political resources as well. And so to expect a president in the last year of his administration which is consumed by Iraq and now which sees Iran as a looming and lurking issue on this agenda, to spend the kind of time, and invest the kind of resources the Middle East peace process may be asking too much. Secondly in this administration, previous Middle East activity has been at the side, this president does have a track record on the Middle East peace process, he has a speech on the record in 2002, he travelled to the region in 2003, to launch the road map, he has now shepherded the Annapolis process and he has come himself to indicate that this is a priority. But each one of those forays into Middle East diplomacy, has not been followed by sustained activity. And the question mark is whether or not the administration will sustain its commitment, that the president articulated just a few days ago, or whether this too will be another episode, another chapter in Bush administration policy.

There certainly has been positives in this administration as I noted, Annapolis, Bush Trip, U.S. monitoring, which at least has now begun on paper, with the appointment of another general to help monitor activities, but there has also been negatives in U.S. performance during this administration, there is no U.S. peace team, Secretary of State Rice right now runs the policy, but there is a very significant lack of backstopping the Secretary, in other words, where is the team that is going to do the hard work, the studies, the options papers, to challenge the Secretary into thinking through policy options as she moves forward. And there is no permanent high level presence in the region. We have a number of generals in the region, General Dayton helping the Palestinians do security reform, General Jones who is doing a long-term study and now the number two on the joint chief of staff, who will be involved in monitoring but apart from General Dayton who does not involve himself directly in the issues that are required to reach an agreement over the next year, we don't have a single diplomat in this region devoted full-time to working on this peace process.

And finally the question that we have seen even in the last few weeks, when issues relating to Jerusalem and settlements have come up, is the question of whether President Bush being seen by the American Jewish community as the strongest president in support of Israel and of Israeli interests, will in fact buck Jewish opposition to Bush administration policy, should the administration have to take a tough hard line on some issues in the negotiations.

So what we found in short is the fact that a study that we conducted in the hope that would influence the administration's policies of the next administration, in fact, is very dremane to what we are talking about at this conference, and that is whether or not an agreement is possible within the next year, and the suggestion we have, and we have shared with this administration, is that a careful study of the past, the careful understanding of the lessons learned and unlearned from the past may help the United States in fact contribute positively to the realization of an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, within the next year,

Thank you so much.

 

 

Mr. Peter Joseph:

Thank you very much Ambassador Kurtzer, that was really terrific. If I can personally testify as to what a wonderful consul general Alon Pinkas was in the New York several years ago, and we very much miss him and it is a great opportunity to be with him again on the panel.

Prior to his service in New York, Alon Pinkas was the chief of staff, foreign minister, Shlomo Ben Ami and David Lee. He served as an advisor to Ehud Barak on U.S. Affairs, participated in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations following Camp David and was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Israel-Syria peace talks in Shepherds Town.

Currently serving as the president of the Jerusalem Post Media Group, and we very much look forward to his comments from an Israeli perspective on the activities of the American Jewish Community on which Ambassador Kurtzer just alluded to.

 

 

מר אלון פנקס:

Thank you Peter, thank you to the Geneva Initiative Organization. I've been asked to speak in Hebrew, which my friend Nimrod Novik says, "how could we do this, all this entire thing called the peace process is in English, the terminology is in English, the points of reference are in English, the letters, the agreements, their all I's and P's,

דובר:

But the peace is not on English.

מר אלון פנקס:

The peace is not in anything yet. So I will honor the request, because I am supposed to speak about the Israeli perspective, I will speak in Hebrew, whatever that entails.

בוקר טוב. אני התבקשתי לדבר על הצד הישראלי כפי שהוא תופס את כל הדברים שאמר דן קרצר באשר לחלק האמריקאי, וזה קל מצד אחד וזה מורכב מצד שני. אני רוצה להתחיל דווקא בשתי קביעות שקצת סותרות האחת את השנייה, או לפחות לא הולמות האחת את השנייה.

באשר לכותרת של בוש אומר הסכם בתוך שנה. אני אומר כך, ואחר כך מפה אני אגזור את שאר הנקודות. אם הנשיא בוש בעשרה חודשים אפקטיביים שנותרו עד נובמבר, משום שבנובמבר-ינואר הוא כבר באמת לא יכול לעשות הרבה. אבל אם הנשיא בוש רוצה, ומשקיע את האנרגיה, משקיע את הזמן, משקיע את המשאבים הדיפלומטיים והפוליטיים הוא יכול מבחינה חוקתית, הוא יכול מבחינה אקזקוטיבית לעשות הרבה דברים בעשרה חודשים האלו בהקשר הישראלי-פלסטיני. הוא יכול למעשה להעביר אותנו שלב שלם אם באמת הממשל שלו, והוא בראשו, יעמיד את זה כעדיפות של מדיניות חוץ, כמו שאמר דן, ואני מסכים איתו, ללא קשר לעיראק.

פה אני מגיע לנקודה השנייה והיא הסותרת, אבל זה לא יקרה. זה לא יקרה משום שנוצרה פה איזו מן שותפות אינטרסים מאד משונה ומאד מטרידה בין שלושה מנהיגים. אני יודע את הקלישאה, הם שלושתם חלשים, לא על זה אני מדבר. ישנה פה שותפות אינטרסים פוליטיים בין שלושה אנשים, הנשיא בוש, ראש הממשלה אולמרט ויו"ר הרשות הפלסטינית אבו-מאזן, הוא דבר שכל מה שהשלושה רוצים זה נייר. הם פשוט רוצים נייר, "תנו לנו נייר", זה משיקוליו הפוליטיים, זה משיקולי מורשתו ההיסטורית וזה משיקולי שרידותו. ואתם יכולים לערבב את כל השלושה, וזה לא חשוב איזה תואר הענקתי למי. וזה בעייתי. זה בעייתי משום שהסבירות של יישום כושל, או אי-יכולת ליישם את זה יכולה להיות הרת אסון, ויש לה השלכות על החמאס, ויש לה השלכות על אמון הציבור, וכן הלאה. אני חוזר לנקודה הראשונה ומתחיל את השאר, אבל אם הנשיא הוא רוצה הוא יכול.

יש פה את העניין הבא: יש אצלנו, ואני לא רוצה להיכנס להיסטוריה של זה או ללמה זה, אם כי זה מעניין כשלעצמו, יש אצלנו התייחסות כמעט מיתית ליכולת של ארה"ב לעשות פה דברים. ואנחנו נעים כמו איזה מטוטלת בתוך או על מטוטלת כזו שנעה בין התבטלות בפני האמריקאים, ובין התרסה מול האמריקאים – אנחנו נראה להם מה זה, הם לא יגידו לנו, הם לא יכריחו אותנו. או ההפך הגמור, רק שיבואו.

ואני לא רוצה להפריד את זה במונחים של שמאל וימין, אבל בכל זאת, לצורך ההמחשה וההכללה בלבד. יש תמיד בשמאל מי שיגיד שיבואו וילחצו, כי בלעדיהם לא יקום הסכם, רק שיבואו וישימו את כספם, את עדיפויותיהם בעניין הזה וזה יכול לקרות. הם (משפט לא ברור – 5:18 – ג.ר.), והנשיא יבוא ויהיה. יש בצד השני, האמריקאים ילחצו לפנות התנחלויות, שומו שמיים, אנחנו מדינה ריבונית, שזה לא יקרה. הנשיא לא אוהב את ישראל, כן אוהב את ישראל. אני בכוונה אמרתי את זה בצורה מפוזרת ולא מדויקת, כי זה כאילו סוג של תחושות.

תסתכלו על ההיסטוריה, מאז 67', ממשלים רצופים, מג'ונסון של 68' כבר איים בעניין הזה, נתן איזו אזהרה, בודאי ניקסון הראשון, אחר כך פורד ואילך, כל הממשלים האמריקאים היתה להם מנטרה אחת בעניין הזה – "ההתנחלויות הן מכשול לשלום". תראו לי ממשל אחד, נשיא אחד שבאמת עשה משהו בנדון, ואני לא נוקט פה בעמדה פוליטית, מבחינה אמריקאית.

מצד שני, הוא לא באמת עשה שום דבר בנדון. לא באמת מבחינת מדיניות, לא באמת. ויכול להיות שהיה מי שצעק זה צודק, וכמה חודשים אחר כך הוא לא היה נשיא, לא בגלל זה, אבל הוא כבר לא היה נשיא.

יש מצידנו הסתכלות גם משונה ביחס לאיך אנחנו מנהלים את המו"מ עם האמריקאים. פה זה כבר הרבה יותר מורכב. נתחיל מהעניין בנקודה הזו. אני אחזור לבוש בעוד 7 דקות בערך. נתחיל מהעניין הזה. באופן מסורתי המצביע הישראלי מייחס חשיבות גדולה לצורה שבה ראש הממשלה שלו נתפס בעיניו כמנהל את היחסים עם ארה"ב. זה דבר שהוא, אם בודקים אותו לאורך השנים, זה דבר ידוע. זו לא סיבה להצביע לראש ממשלה, אבל זה נתפס וזה הוכח גם במחקרים כדבר שהרבה אנשים מביאים בחשבון. דוגמאות חיוביות זה יצחק רבין. דוגמא חיובית אחרת, בשעתו זה אהוד ברק, אבל רק ב-99'. דוגמא טובה יותר, אבל שממחישה את ההפך, היא אהוד אולמרט, שכולנו יודעים שיש לו יחסים טובים עם בוש, אבל הוא משלם מחיר על משהו אחר.

כלומר, איך אנחנו תופסים את היחסים של ראש הממשלה עם נשיא ארה"ב זה קריטי. בי"ת, ההתייחסות בארה"ב בתוך ישראל היא לא כמדינה חברה אלא כעמוד תווך בביטחונה הלאומי של ישראל. וגם פה זה נע בין "אנחנו למעשה מדינת חסות, מדינת קליינט, ובסוף-בסוף נעשה מה שהאמריקאים אומרים". מה שלא נכון לגבי ההתנחלויות. מדינת וסלים, וזה אחד הביטויים. מהצד השני יש "הם לא יגידו לנו, אנחנו צריכים לעמוד על שלנו", דיברתי על זה לפני כמה דקות. אבל ההתייחסות ארה"ב בהקשר הישראלי-פלסטיני בעצם מובילה למסקנה, או מתנקזת למסקנה הבאה: יש אצלנו נטייה, כשאני אומר "יש אצלנו" זה המעגלים הפוליטיים, התקשורת, חלקים מהאקדמיה, ובכלל מעגלי ציבור, אנשים שעסקו בדבר. יש אצלנו נטייה להאשים את האמריקאים. "היא לא מספיק מעורבת; הוא מעורב מדי; היא לא בקיאה בפרטים; הוא לא מינה (מילה לא ברורה – 8:41 – ג.ר.)". כלומר האחריות על זה שאין פה הסדר עם הפלסטינים בכלל על האמריקאים, לא עלינו. "אם הוא היה ממנה שגריר; אם היו יותר רציניים; אם הנשיא היה לוחץ על ערפאת; אם היו מדברים עם המצרים", אם, אם, מי אשם? האמריקאים. למה? כי הם לא באמת מבינים את המזרח התיכון. כי הם לא באמת מבינים את הקשיים של ראש הממשלה. כי הם לא באמת מבינים את הפלסטינים. ואז אנחנו אומרים "טוב, אולי הממשל הבא". בינתיים אנחנו יוצרים עובדות, אנחנו יוצרים עובדות בשטח, הפלסטינים יוצרים עובדות בשטח. אני לא עושה הקבלה, בטח לא הקבלה מוסרית בין טרור להתנחלויות, אבל בפועל אלה שני הדברים שמונעים הסדר. אנחנו מסבכים את החיים לנשיא האמריקאי הבא, או הנשיאה, הבאים, רק כדי אחר כך לבוא בטענות למשל לבוש, 7 שנים הוא לא היה מעורב, מה הוא עושה מאיתנו צחוק? הוא יחשוב שהוא יבוא הנה בתוך שנה הוא רוצה הסכם? הוא לא מבין. תן לנו להרוג ערבים, תנו לערבים להרוג אותנו, תעזבו אותנו, זה לא. האמריקאים באמת-באמת לא מבינים אותנו.

מצד שני אנשים אצלנו, כשאני אומר עוד פעם "אנשים אצלנו" אני מתכוון למי שעוסק בזה בתוך ומחוץ למוסדות השלטון ולמעגלי (מילה לא ברורה – 10:00 – ג.ר.), מבינים שבלי ארה"ב לא יהיה פה הסכם, פשוט לא יכול לבוא הסכם. ויש לזה שלל סיבות. ארה"ב כמעצמת-על היחידה. ההשפעה של ארה"ב במזרח התיכון, המעורבות של ארה"ב במזרח התיכון. ממשלים שכן, כמו שאמר דן, הגדירו אבל לא מספיק את פתרון הסכסוך כאינטרס אמריקאי ולא עושים טובה. המשפט של ארה"ב לא יכולה לרצות בשלום יותר מהצדדים, כי היא צריכה לרצות שלום משיקוליה שלה, או כנגזרת מהבנתה והגדרתה את האינטרסים האזוריים שלה.

ובלי ארה"ב זה לא יקום ולא יהיה. אבל יכול להיות מצב שגם עם ארה"ב זה לא יקום ולא יהיה, כי יכול להיות מצב שגם האמריקאים, ואני לא רוצה להשתמש בביטוי השחוק "שבויים בקונספציה", אבל גם הם כבר יותר מדי זמן מעורבים, ודבר שמונע מהם מלחשוב על אפשרויות אחרות. כמה שנים אנחנו עוסקים בעצם באותו עניין? מה זה העניין הזה שבוש מדבר על הסכם מסגרת שלתוכו נדבר על נושאי ליבה, והוא יהיה אינקרמנטלי? היינו בסרט הזה. אינקרמנטליזם במידה מסוימת זה אוסלו, בהכללה. וללכת לסוף, זה קמפ-דיוויד. וכל מה שהיה באמצע. ההסכמים קיימים, הסכם ז'נבה הוא הסכם. ומתווה קלינטון קיים. אז נכון שהנשיא בוש לא התעניין במזרח התיכון, והיה לו איזה קיבעון שהוא לא יעשה שום דבר שקלינטון עשה. וקראו לזה anything but Clinton, נעשה הכל חוץ מאשר מה שקלינטון עשה. אבל אם אנחנו מסתכלים על זה היסטורית, וכמובן מוקדם מדי להסתכל על זה ברצינות היסטורית, אנחנו מסתכלים על זה בפרספקטיבה של 7-8 שנים, בוש הוא המשכו של קלינטון בהרבה מובנים. ופה יש לאמריקאים סוג של תפקיד, ואני תיכף אגיד לעתיד, פה יש לנשיא הזה במסגרת האיך אנחנו רואים אותו תפקיד שאני יכול להגדיר אותו רק כפדגוג של שלום. כן, אותו בוש שכולם אוהבים ללגלג עליו ולזלזל בו, ולצחוק עליו, כשאנחנו מסתכלים על מה הוא עשה מבחינת הכשרת לבבות בישראל, הוא הנשיא הראשון שדיבר על שתי מדינות. הוא הנשיא הראשון שאמר "סוף הכיבוש", במילים המפורשות. אז אפשר להגיד אבל ג'ונסון רמז, אבל עוד לא באמת היו התנחלויות. וקרטר כעס, אבל זה עוד לא היה אותו דבר. ורייגן לא אהב, אבל הסתכל לצד השני. וזה ברור ונובע מהדברים שקלינטון עשה, הכל נכון. בוש קם ואמר את זה. בוש גם יצר את מפת הדרכים, שגם אותה אנחנו אוהבים לפסול ולבטל, וגם בה אנחנו נוטים לזלזל כי היא לא תקפה, כי היא לא ישימה. אבל היא מפת דרכים. היא בעצם מקבעת את מה ש-75% מהישראלים מבינים. שתקום מדינה פלסטינית, אם וכאשר תקום מדינה פלסטינית, גבולותיה יהיו על פי מתווה קלינטון, אבל היא לא תכלול את שלושת גושי ההתנחלויות כפי, בגדול אני לא נכנס לפרשנויות, כפי שבוש כתב במכתב שהוא הפקיד בידיו של שרון, וכל זמן שיש הבדל פרשנות בין מה ששרון חושב שכתוב שם, או חשב שכתוב שם, זה מה שבוש הבין את זה.

אבל פה אני נכנס לאיך אנחנו רואים את זה. מצד אחד אנחנו בטוחים שללא מעורבות אמריקאית לא יהיה פה שלום. מצד שני, הציבור הישראלי מקבל את זה שהנשיא מקבל את זה שהציבור הישראלי מקבל של איך ייראה הסכם. מצד שלישי, יש חוסר אמון בסיסי ביכולת של הפלסטינים. ואז אנחנו נכנסים למה בוש יכול לעשות הרבה אבל מה הוא יעשה, כנראה שלא הרבה. ויתקן אותי דן אם אני טועה בהערכה שלי, הנשיא הבא לא יתפנה לעסוק בנושא הזה עד לפחות, לכל המוקדם, אמצע 2010. הנשיא ייכנס, יהיה ינואר 2009. יש לו שנה לבנות ממשל. יש משבר שאפשר להגדיר אותו ברמות שונות של עוצמה בכלכלה האמריקאית. יש נושא של הגירה, יש עיראק. כמובן עיראק, עיראק, עיראק, כמו שאמר בצדק דן. יש הרבה נושאים והסכסוך הישראלי-פלסטיני יכניסו אותו תחת "אפשר להכיל אותו", it's containment, לא חייבים. אם הוא לא מאיים להתפשט אנחנו עוד לא יודעים את הדברים שיעסיקו את הנשיא הבא. אפגניסטן, חילופי משטר במצרים, סוריה, אנחנו לא יודעים, אבל הסכסוך הזה זה לא נראה דבר שהוא בוער. ולכן עד אמצע 2010 וגם אז אני אומר לכל המוקדם, אני בכלל לא מהמר את זה. זה נוגע לדבר

הלפני האחרון שאני רוצה לומר.

יכול להיות דן דיבר על מה מחויב הממשל הבא. אני חייב להגיד שאני רואה סימנים לזה שהממשל הבא, וזה שאחריו יהיו פחות מעורבים ולא יותר מעורבים. יש עייפות, יש חוסר עניין, הסכסוך ישראלי-פלסטיני נהיה כמו פסולת רדיו-אקטיבית, זה נוצץ מרחוק, זה ירוק, זה יפה, כשמתקרבים אפשר למות מזה. זה רע. שום דבר לא יצא לנשיא מלהתעסק בזה, כלום. שום דבר. הוא יגדיר את זה כאינטרס אמריקאי אבל מסובך. ואנחנו בינתיים נעבה עוד התנחלות בגלל גידול טבעי, הפלסטינים ישתמשו בטרור כי זה מה שהם יודעים לעשות, וכן הלאה, וכן הלאה. והמצב הופך להיות עוד פחות ניתן לפתרון.

מה שיחייב, יחייב זו מילה חזקה, אני לא רוצה להגיד, מה שאולי יבין נשיא אמריקאי להתחיל להקשיב למה שנקרא "רעיונות חדשים", למה שנקרא "paradigm shift", כלומר מעבר לצורת חשיבה, לפרדיגמה אחרת. יכול להיות שבתוך השנתיים, ואני יודע שמה שאני אומר הוא אנטיתזה לכל מה שמייצג הסכם ז'נבה או לכל מה שהיה בקמפ-דיוויד. יכול מאד להיות שהציבור הישראלי יקבל בהבנה נשיא אמריקאי שיבוא, לא ויכפה, לא יכפה פה פתרון, כי הם לא מספיק יתעניינו בזה, להכרה שפתרון שתי המדינות הוא פשוט לא ישים. אם זה יבוא מתוך ישראל, אז אף אחד לא יקנה את זה. אם זה יבוא מארה"ב יקנו את זה. כי אם זה יהיה בתוך הקשר רחב יותר של מדיניות חוץ אמריקאית, ויגיעו למסקנה בוושינגטון מומחים, יועצים, צוות שלום של הנשיא או הנשיאה הבאים, מזכיר המדינה הבא, או הנשיא או הנשיאה הבאים בעצמם, יגיעו למסקנה שמדינה פלסטינית עם רציפות טריטוריאלית, היא ברת קיימא מבחינה כלכלית, עם מוסדות מתפקדים פוליטית, היא לא יכולה לקום, פשוט לא יכולה לקום. למה? ככה. בגלל ההתנחלויות, ובגלל הטרור, ובגלל חוסר בשלות פוליטית, ובגלל שלל סיבות אחרות, ובגלל חולשת מנהיגים, שדיברתי עליה בהתחלה. אני לא רוצה פה לנקוט בשום עמדה פוליטית, והיא גם לא חשובה, והיא לא רלוונטית לעניין, אבל אני הייתי שמח אם מישהו פה היה נוקב בשם של ראש ממשלה עתידי, כל שם לגיטימי, שהוא או היא מאמינים שיפנה 120 אלף מתנחלים. תנו לי שם.

אני מצטער מאד, אני לא מכיר את השם הזה. תראו כמה דל המאגר של השמות, אפילו אלה שאני יגיד לכם שאני מאמין שיעשו את זה. אני לא מדבר על מאחזים לא-חוקיים. דרך אגב, בסוגריים, נוצרה תחושה באמצעות התקשורת שסיפרו לנו על המאחזים הבלתי-חוקיים, בינינו לבין ארה"ב כאילו זה לא חוקי על פי התיקון ה-38 לחוקת ארה"ב. זה לא חוקי כי בכמה מדינות בארה"ב לא מוכנים לקבל את זה. זה לא חוקי על פי החוק הישראלי, אבל אנחנו מנהלים מו"מ עם האמריקאים. אבל עזבו, זה לא העניין.

יגיע הרגע שבו נשיאים אמריקאיים יהיו מוכנים כחלק מלא משיכת ידיים אלא מההודאה בכישלון של הקונספציה או פרדיגמה הקיימת לפתרון ומעורבות אמריקאית, כחלק מרצון ללכת לרב-צדדיות, למולטי-פטרנליזם, לקח מבוש בעיראק. הם יהיו מוכנים לשמוע, הם יהיו מוכנים להקשיב, הם יהיו מוכנים, מה שנקרא to entertain מבחינה אינטלקטואלית, רעיונות חדשים שאינם נופלים בשטנץ הזה של שתי מדינות לשני עמים, קמפ-דיוויד, ירושלים ככה, השטחים ככה, וכן הלאה. למשל, דבר שאני לא ממציא אותו עכשיו, מרטין הינדיק דיבר על זה ושלמה בן-עמי דיבר על זה, ואחרים דיברו על זה, על כוח רב-לאומי. לא כוח רב-לאומי בסגנון יוניפיל, אלא מה שנקרא BOT, Built Operate Transfer. העולם ייקח את השטחים. אני יודע, זה נשמע כמו פרס, העולם ינהל את השטחים ובכלל וולט דיסני ייקח את הגדה ויקים שם פארק. בסדר. אני לא באתי להציג פה את המודל הזה, לא זה העניין. אבל כנגד מדינה דו-לאומית, כנגד הגורם הדמוגראפי, אני לא קורא לזה איום דמוגראפי אלא קורא לזה הגורם הדמוגראפי, וכנגד המציאות שתוכיח שפתרון שתי המדינות יתכן ואי אפשר יותר ליישם אותו, ואני לא מדבר על בעוד 10 שנים, אני לא מדבר על תיאוריה, אני מדבר על השנתיים, שלוש, ארבע הקרובות. הציבור בישראל יהיה מוכן לשמוע מנשיא אמריקאי, בגלל אותו רספקט שיש לנו למעורבות האמריקאית, רעיונות אחרים.

דבר אחרון, אין לי ספק שבארץ, ואני מגיע לעניין היהודי, להגיד משפט אחד לפני שרוברטה תתחיל. ישראל רואה בארה"ב בעלת ברית, ואנחנו עדיין מספרים לעצמנו סיפור שאנחנו נכס אסטרטגי, וזה נכון חלקית, וזה לא נכון מבחינות מסוימות, וכל אלה מאיתנו שזכו או נדונו לחיות בתוך ביטוי שאני חושב שיוסי המציא אותו, המשולש האסטרטגי – ישראל, ארה"ב, יהדות ארה"ב. כל מי שנדון כמונו, או זכה, לחיות בתוך המשולש הזה תמיד חי כל הזמן בשאלה הזו, ומעסיקה אותו השאלה של אנחנו וארה"ב ביחס לעתיד. האם הם ילחצו? האם טוב שהם ילחצו? האם רע שהם ילחצו? ופה מעבר לכל מה שאמרתי עד עכשיו על חוסר המעורבות האמריקאית שאני צופה אותו, אני גם רואה סדקים שאנחנו לא באמת ערים להם, לא בידידות האמריקאית, אלא במחויבות על פי אותם ערכים שאנחנו מניחים שאנחנו והאמריקאים באמת שותפים במאה אחוז.

כל שנתיים מתווסף מחזור של חברי בית נבחרים חדש. השנים המעצבות שלהם הם שנות ה-60 וה-70, ולפעמים כבר ה-80. הם לא גדלו עם ישראל קטנה, נצורה ומותקפת. הם רואים בישראל מעצמה. הם חותמים על כל נייר שאיפק"ס שמה להם מול האף, רק שירדו להם מהחיים. מבחינה אינטלקטואלית הם למדו באוניברסיטאות שבהן הסגל ההוראה הוא דור וייטנאם או האנטי. ישראל היא בכלל מעצמה קולוניאלית. אני לא אומר שיש פה מעבר חד לאנטי ישראליות בקונגרס, חלילה, אל תבינו אותי לא נכון. אבל אנחנו טועים אם אנחנו חושבים ששינויים דמוגראפיים, כיוון יותר היספאני, כולל בנבחרים, צעירים יותר, אנשים שרואים את העולם אחרת יותר, ימשיכו באמת להיות מחויבים לאיזה סכסוך טריטוריאלי משונה בין ישראלים לפלסטינים, או כמו שאמר לי את זה פעם איזה שר חוץ אירופי "אתם נלחמים מלחמה שבסוף המאה ה-20". לא, הוא אמר ככה: "אנחנו בתחילת המאה ה-21, אתם גוררים את כל העולם מחצית מן המאה ה-20 על סכסוך של המאה ה-19. על מי שייכת עופרה". ונשאלת השאלה למה זה בכלל חשוב. אז אני מתחיל להסביר לו כי זה ככה וככה, והוא אומר "אתה לא מבין, נמאס לנו לשמוע מכם". פשוט נמאס. אותו דבר אני אומר לכם על ארה"ב. אני לא מייצג שום 305 מיליון אמריקאים שאני אומר את זה, ואני לא אומר האיש ברחוב. אם בישראל הוא לא קיים, על אחת כמה וכמה בארה"ב הוא לא קיים. כל פעם שיש תהליך מדיני ויש כינוס ויש כנס, ויש וועידה, ויש פיגוע טרור, ויש תגובה של חיל אוויר, ויש פלסטינית שיושבת ובוכה ומקוננת על הריסות ביתה, ויש גופות באוטובוס בירושלים. והאמריקאי שיושב בקליבלנד רואה את זה, הוא מבחינתו זה הפרק בנשיונל ג'יאוגרפיק על האריה והזברה, הוא לא יודע אם זה חדש או שזה זה שהוא ראה. ברור שעוד מעט האריה ירוץ ובסוף הוא יתפוס את הזברה האחרונה האיטית. מה הוא עושה? הוא עובר ערוץ. עובר ערוץ, זה אומר שהעניין שלו בנו קטן. ואנחנו פה, כשאנחנו אומרים "תבואו, תלחצו", אנחנו לא מבינים שהמוטיבציה ללחוץ קטנה. זה לא עניין של הלובי היהודי ואיפ"ק, ומחויבותנו, והוונגלים, והתנ"ך.

דבר אחרון-אחרון בהחלט, זה משהו על היהודים. בתוך המשולש הזה כמובן אחת הצלעות זה יהודי ארה"ב. מי שכל הזמן מתעסק עם הארגונים היהודיים ועם העסקנים היהודיים, המקצועיים, יכול לחשוב בטעות שזו התנחלות שם. כלומר, שזה סוג של מאחז לא חוקי או חוקי של יהודים נורא ימניים, ובאמת אחת לכמה זמן יש מכתב שגוער בנו שאומר "בכלל מי אתם שתדונו על ירושלים בלי לקבל את הסכמתנו?". ירושלים היא לא מקום, ירושלים היא רעיון. ירושלים זה ערש הציוויליזציה מבחינה נפשית, רוחנית. מי אתם בכלל? אני לא רוצה לענות להם פה, אני רק מפנה אתכם למאמר של שלמה אבינרי, אתמול בג'רוזלם פוסט, שענה להם, לפחות לרון לאודר, מנה אחת אפיים. במשפט אחת הוא אמר: "אם אני צריך לשתף אותך בעניין ירושלים, ומה לעשות לגביה, אז בוא נסתכל על ההיסטוריה. ירושלים היא איחוד ירושלים, היא תוצאה של מלחמת ששת-הימים. אשר על כן, הייתי צריך להתייעץ איתך לפני שיצאתי למלחמת ששת-הימים, כי אולי היית נגד, אולי אתה בעד. אולי אתה בעד להמשיך את המלחמה, ואולי היית בעד להפסיק אותה לפני". כלומר, אין גבול לעד כמה. אז תמיד תהיה הקבוצה הקולנית הזו שתגיד "מי אתם שתפנו, וזה נכסי צאן ברזל של 2000 שנות, או יותר, 5000 שנות ציוויליזציה". אם מסתכלים היטב על יהדות ארה"ב בהקשר הזה היא לא מצביעה לנשיא בניגוד למה שיגידו עסקנים, והם לא מצביעים על האם הנשיא יהיה טוב או רע לישראל, אלא הם מצביעים אם הנשיא טוב או רע לאמריקה. רוב היהודים, שוב אני מסייג, רוב היהודים, לא היהודים המקצועיים, אלה שקמים בבוקר וחייבים להביע דעה על העניין הזה. ואם יקום, ואם תעשו סקר, ונעשו כאלה סקרים, אני מניח שרוברטה תדבר עליהם, אם תבדקו התפלגות דעות פוליטיות בקרב יהדות ארה"ב, מדגם מייצג, כלומר שחורג מחמשת הרובעים של ניו-יורק והרובע השישי, ישראל, אם נחרוג ונסתכל אתם תראו התפלגות מאד דומה, אם לא זהה לחלוטין, להתפלגות הפוליטית בישראל. 65-70 אחוזים מבינים שאי אפשר להישאר בגדה ובעזה. 65-70 אחוז לא סומכים על הפלסטינים. 65-70 אחוז רוצים מדינה יהודית דמוקרטית, אם כי אף אחד לא יודע להגדיר בדיוק מה זה, והאם בכלל זה יתכן. 65-70 אחוז רוצים פחות שטח שבתוכו יש פחות ערבים. זה הנוסחה שעובדת תמיד. יותר שטח, יותר ערבים. פחות שטח, יותר ערבים. אתה אוהב ערבים? לא. אז אתה רוצה פחות שטח? כן. הם יגידו לי. אתם תראו את אותה התפלגות.

Mr. Peter Joseph:

Roberta has a long history of working with the Diaspora and is an expert on U.S.-Israel relations in Diaspora Jewry, as a matter of fact she served as an advisor to Prime Minister Barak on world Jewish affairs from 1999 to 2001. She has worked with quite an array of American Jewish mainstream organizations, she does really a first rate job for the Israel policy forum, and I think her comments will be very interesting:

 

Mrs. Roberta Fahn Schoffman:

I think that my colleague, Alon Pinkas actually represented exactly the snapshot that I would try to share with you today about the American Jewish community and I think it’s important to view through the lens of the American society at large and when you think about American Jews.

The American Jewish community in the 21st century is a community that is even more secure, even more successful, even more pluralistic, even more moderate, than Jewish communities in the past. Through all kinds of surveys that I am happy to share with you afterwards from Steven M. Cohen who has been looking at the identification of the American Jewish community for many, many years through the Jewish committee surveys that come out once a year and continue to show very stable statistics on Jewish identification, on affiliation, on attitudes towards Israel and with recent findings of Stan Greenberg who not only serves as a pollster and a political consultant in the realm of the political world, but works on behalf of the Israel project in terms of taking a look at where American and now European attitudes are towards Israel, towards Iran, towards terrorism, towards other issues that have impact on the Israel-U.S. relationship. We see this level of consistency throughout.

The highlights of the current campaign, as characterized by the Iowa Primaries and later in New Hampshire, as we see this real effort to demonstrate change, in addition to Hilary Clinton who also wants to project experience, what we are seeing is a real shift in the American political community, and Americans at large, they are looking for change.

I think that we are going to ask ourselves what is the heritage, what is the legacy that George Bush leaves, and I think that there is a legacy, and that legacy is that he has successfully changed the debate about the global politics from what they were prior to his coming to power to what they are now and that is taking a look at moderation, versus extremism. And the American community and the American political voters are looking for a more moderate approach to solving the problems that have been the problems that George Bush did not hesitate to lay out. They don’t disagree that there are problems with extremism, they do not disagree that their problems with fundamentalism, they do not disagree that are problems in terms of American standing around the world, in terms of Aphganistan, or Pakistan, or a nucleurized Iran, but they do disagree with the way George Bush will handle, has handled, those problems and there are statistics most recently, as I said, by Stan Greenberg that talk about looking at those issues in a very, very strong negative for George Bush and a very high positive full belief that the Democrats can issue those issues better.

In that regard Jews are no different, and when you look at the general position of Jews in terms of their political identification, we have a 58%-15% showing in the most recent December American Jewish committee survey for Jews identifying with Democrats and a 58%-15% identifying as Republicans, we see 43% leaning slightly to the left, and 74% identifying themselves as moderate to liberal.

As far as relations with Israel go, we see a consistency in terms of a strong identification with Israel, believing that there is a strong affiliation in terms of ones identity with Israel as they view themselves as a Jew, and yet when you look at other questions, the relationship is far less of a priority than that when statistically proved and we see for instance in terms of where the State of Israel and your relationship to Israel comes in, on your list of how you characterize yourself as a Jew, and number one you will see holocaust, or you’ll see anti-Semitism or you’ll see affiliation with a religious stream or you’ll see attendance to a synagogue or ritual and way, way down on the list you’ll see no. 6 or no. 7 consistently is Israel. We know that up until the year 2002, only 25% of Americans Jews had ever come to Israel, that figure has shifted in 2007 to 35% and I believe we have to give a great deal of credit to Birthright in the beginnings of the shift of those numbers with 120,000 young people being brought as Yossi Beylin knows, one of the really original visionaries of this plan, but 120,000 young people have come in seven years to Israel as part of Birthright, and that has shifted those numbers dramatically.

In terms of the other young people who have not come to Israel, where are the young people today? and how does that point to where the community may be going in the future? and we a very disturbing study by Steven M. Cohen on the younger Jewish community in the United States, the non-orthodox community, and we have less than 48% of the, I am going to give you the exact statistics, because it is interesting, fewer than half, 48% of the respondents under the age of 35, who are not orthodox, agree that Israel's destruction would be a personal tragedy, compared to 78% of those who are 65 and older, only 54% of those are comfortable with the idea of the Jewish State. So we are talking about only 48% who would be disturbed by the destruction of Israel, and with 54% who are comfortable with the idea of the Jewish State, compared to 81% of those 65 and older, 74% of those in the 50 – 64 age group, and 64% in the 35-49 age group.

We see a waning interest in Israel, in spite of certain surgeons during times of peril, during times of fear that Israel is under attack, I believe that most recently in the Intifada's, in the war in Lebanon this past summer we saw a tremendous outpouring of support from the American Jewish community in the area of more than $300 million Dollars in emergency campaigns raised really literally within weeks, a tremendous demonstration of support, but it is a not sustained demonstration of support, it comes and it goes, it rises and it sinks depending on the situation.

American Jews are waning in their interests, they are identifying much more strongly as Americans, we see that support for a Palestinian state, that has dropped while support today, its 46% in support of a Palestinian state, 43% do not. In 2006, 54% supported, 38% did not. We see that when push comes to shove, the American Jewish community is simply losing interest, and I believe that Alon Pinkas has referred to this just recently before the New Hampshire primaries, when six of the candidates, the primary candidates, went to New Hampshire the day before the primaries and either asked themselves three actual candidates in three Senate representatives, of very high stature, went to the synagogues, the evening before the New Hampshire primaries only one and that was Bill Richardson, mentioned Israel in passing.

When we look at what is important to American Jews in terms of this next election, we see that the most important thing is the economy and jobs, 23% vote believe that that is the most important indicator, we see terrorism and national security, we see health care, we see the war in Iraq, we see immigration, and among the lowest with only 6% caring about support of Israel, in terms of what is important to the American Jewish community in electing the next president of the United States.

I think that this change, this leaning toward moderation represents a support for the peace process that may not be represented by the official leaders of the American Jewish community, those who were at the president's conference, those who are at APAQ, the Jewish community as you know is divided into many realms, we have political organizations, we have defense organizations, we have community organizations, we have religious organizations, and those affiliations vary the amount of relationship that the individuals have to themselves as Jews and to their activity in the community, depends on where that affiliation is, less than 50% of American Jews belong to a synagogue, most American Jews are not affiliated, those that are affiliated, two-thirds are in among the conservative and reform denominations, tending to be more moderate on political issues.

We see that the leadership is out of sync, with the Jewish community in itself, and it many ways the Jewish community is abdicated, and I believe that has to do with to some extent the lack of interest, there has been a lowering of Jewish contributions that are going to Israel from the early years with 75% of Jewish dollar went to Israel, and 25% stayed in the community, that has flipped and even less so, to where now 10% of Jewish dollars are going to Israel. We see that of the mega gifts that have been given in the last two years, of the mega donors, the major donors, philanthropic donors in the American Jewish community, that of the ten million plus gifts by these Jewish donors, only 5% which is down from 6% have gone to Jewish organizations. So there is a drifting away, from that level of Jewish commitment. Those who are committed, those who are in the leadership, those as Alon said wake up in the morning, and ask themselves what more is that they can do on behalf of the State of Israel, those who identify themselves with the right wing side of the political spectrum on this issue are for the most part, single issue people, they are single issue driven, in terms of Israel, in terms of Jerusalem, and those who are not on the right wing party, those who are in the center or to the left, we see have entire score of issues that matter to them, from immigration to Iraq to Darfur, and on and on and on. It is difficult to rally those people to the same extent that it has been possible to rally the Jewish right.

I think that the relationship that the Jewish right has developed with the fundamentalist Christians, and with the evangelical Christians is something that has been growing for some time, and I think we may be seeing in the year, in the months to come, and especially in this 12-month period, an even greater connection. It was only four years ago in Herzliya, when the Pat Robertson, of the American Evangelist, said very clearly, "Make no mistake, the entire world has been convulsed by a religious struggle, the flight is not about many or territory, it is not about poverty versus wealth, it is not about ancient custom versus modernity, no the struggle is whether Huba the moon good of Mecca known as Alla is supreme or whether the Judea Christian, Jehovah God of the Bible is supreme, be strong, be strong, for if God's chosen people turn holy places over to the Palestinians, then the message will go forth in the Moslem world, we can now in the name of Alla move to crush the Jews".

We see a tightening of that relationship with regard to Jerusalem, the new coordinating counsel on Jerusalem, which is an organization that is an alliance, an unholy alliance, the Aguda Yisroel of the Union of Orthodox congregations, which has for the most part stayed out of politics, but on the issue of Jerusalem has come into the political frame, and the one Jerusalem which is a combination of people led by Nathan Shiransky, and political organizations in Israel who oppose to the division of Jerusalem. We see a campaign that expressed itself in the second day of the visit by President Bush, when you open either Haaretz in English or the Jerusalem Post in English, you saw 6 full page ads, supporting the position that Jerusalem cannot and must not be divided, you saw one small ad, by Abe Flaxman welcoming the President and wishing the Prime Minister good luck. I believe that the atmosphere is one that is against the stream of the overall wave of desire for change and moderation among the American public, and I think we have to remember that American Jews are Americans first. Their voting patterns are similar, some of the things that I've said in terms of their relationship to Israel are very similar in the American population at large, when Americans were asked to identify their shared values with Israel, the fact that Israel is a democratic state was high, the fact that is a country in renovation and ingenuity was high, that it is western oriented was high, and that there was a recent meeting in the United States where Israel committed to work towards a peace accord was extremely high. That Israeli peacefully fuses amidst a cultures of languages was high, Israel has withdrawn its settlements was high, and it works to protect human rights and freedom was very high. American want to see an Israel pursuing peace, the Jewish community I believe wants to see an Israel pursuing peace.

I think that if we are to look at this period of 12 months and ask ourselves whether or not those in the center and the peace camps have the ability to rally and to take on the right wing with the money and with the organization with the networking, with the single mindedness, with a single interest of values that they take to this effort? I think it looks a daunting task, but there may be three areas where we could seek change and perhaps working on these areas we could rally the masses of the American Jewish community who unquestionably are supportive of a peace process of a two State solution, of a moderate Israel, and of helping to make Israel become part of the solution to Americans global issues, global standing, rather than the problem.

I think that the first area is the question of where there is moral authority, I believe that the Prime Minister of the Israel and the authority that position brings to bear to the American Jewish community trunks any authority of the president's conference of APAQ or anybody else, unless it is the moral authority of the rabbi within the orthodox circles, and I really am not talking about the orthodox circles here.

I think that until today we have not seen the Prime Minister of the State of Israel look eye to eye with the American Jewish community, not just those that he speaks to in the privacy of his own office, not just those who he has asked to meet with at a dinner, but when he goes to those who are not within the smaller circles of the organized political world of the American Jewish community, but to the masses, to the grass roots, to the religious denominations, where the one letter opposing the Jerusalem opposition by the orthodox came from Eric Yaffe, who represents the largest religious denomination, the reform movement, when the Prime Minister goes to the United Jewish communities that rarely deals with political issues, rarely considers political questions, even in the GA where the Israeli, the Jewish Agency and the Israeli staff of the United Jewish communities and the Israeli political world have to fight to be sure that Israeli issues are on that agenda, wane an interest in Israel, even among the Jewish Federations, but when the Prime Minister would go and approach those organizations and look them in the eye, and say that he expects their support, I believe that we would see a response.

Just one day before the visit of President Bush, 15 major Jewish leaders who represent mainstream Jewish thinking, had a half-an-hour conference call with the Prime Minister for the sole purpose of expressing the support of the mainstream American Jewish community to the Prime Minister, that included the reform movement, it included three major Jewish federations, in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, APAQ who was meant to be on the call was delayed by a plane not arriving on time, we had the former and the current chairman of the Jewish Agency, we had major philanthropists, Charles Bronfman, and Lester Crowne. It was an amazing effort to express one thing and that is supporting a two-State solution, and endorsement of the Prime Minister's efforts together with the President, so that would be number one.

The second issue that I would suggest that we in the center and left peace camp in the United States begin to do, is to embrace the language of change, to embrace the language that resonates with Americans and, therefore, resonates with Jews, and I think finally that what we would need to do, is to seek a broader coalition, and a coalition with Americans who are fearful of the recession or fearful of oil prices, who are fearful of America's position and status around the world, who are fearful of the rising trend of fundamentalism, and begin to look at the ways in which a solution on this problem may be helpful in the largest context. And I think that the coalitions that those in the peace community have had certainly among those in the peace groups with group Tzedek, with Americans for Peace Now, with the Israeli Policy forum, and others, are important, I think that working certainly through the religious streams of the reform and conservative movement is critical, but I think that there also opportunities to join hands with Americans who are seeking a peaceful resolution, who are looking for moderation, and who are looking for change, and that could be the labor unions in the United States, that could be the chambers of commerce in the United States who are looking for those markets, that could be the auto workers association. I believe that we need to go outside of the community, we need to join hands, we need to remember that as Americans and where American Jews feel most comfortable in the language of Americans, that they are partners, and that difficult as it may be the embracing the language of change, resonating the feelings of moderation, I believe will serve to energize the majority of the American Jewish community who from the outset are supportive of a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Thank you.

 

Mr. Peter Joseph:

As I said at the outset we sorely need a conference like this in the United States.

I apologize we want to keep the schedule running pretty much on time so we will dispense with questions and answers but I would like to thank our panel for a most stimulating discussion.

We are going to take a short break.